Boeing does not expect to win Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval for the 737 MAX 10 aircraft, the largest variant of the MAX family, before summer 2023, the US aviation regulator said in a letter seen by Reuters.
Neither the Boeing 737 MAX 10, nor the smaller 737 MAX 7, looks likely to receive FAA certification by the current deadline which expires on December 31, 2022.
“With regard to the 737-10, Boeing’s current project plan timeline has the 737-10 receiving an amended type certificate no sooner than summer 2023,” two sources quoted acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen as saying in a letter to Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, Reuters reported on October 4, 2022.
However, the US regulator did not provide the exact amended certification date.
The FAA is also concerned “about realistic timeframes for receiving the remaining documents” required to certify the 737 MAX 7. Boeing must receive certification for the MAX 7 first because approval of the MAX 10 depends on some MAX 7 documentation.
Failure to submit necessary safety assessments
In late September 2022, the FAA warned that Boeing had failed to submit the necessary system safety assessments (SSAs) for the MAX 7 jet by a mid-September deadline in order for the aircraft to be certified by December. Without SSAs the FAA is not able to proceed with the plane certification process.
“Just under 10% of the SSAs [system safety assessments, ed.-] have been accepted by the FAA and another 70% of these documents are in various stages of review and revision,” the FAA said in a letter dated September 19, 2022.
“The most concerning, however, is that Boeing has yet to provide an initial submittal for six of the outstanding SSAs,” the FAA added, outlining that it will take time for the authority to review crucial safety-related documents.
If Boeing fails to meet the December deadline, it will need to equip both MAX variants with a modernized flight crew alerting system to meet additional safety requirements before entering service as per the new Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act (ACSAA), which will be implemented on January 1, 2023.